Arsene Wenger lifts the lid on Arsenal’s ‘ludicrous’ £40m plus £1 offer for Luis Suarez in 2013… and admits striker’s rumoured release clause at Liverpool NEVER existed
- Arsene Wenger has spoken out about bidding £40+£1 for Luis Suarez in 2013
- Arsenal hoped to activate a reported clause in the Liverpool star’s contract
- But the former Gunners boss has revealed that release clause never existed
- He admitted the bid was ‘ludicrous’ as Liverpool immediately turned it down
Arsene Wenger has shed light on Arsenal’s ‘ludicrous’ offer for Luis Suarez in 2013 that saw the Gunners bidding £40million plus £1 in an attempt to activate the Liverpool star’s release clause.
Suarez was heading towards an exit from Anfield at the start of the 2013-14 season with the Reds finishing seventh in the Premier League and missing out on Champions League football.
He was heavily linked with a move to LaLiga giants Barcelona, but the Gunners also emerged as a possible option for the Uruguyan forward, who had just netted 30 goals in all competitions for the Reds.
Arsene Wenger has pulled back the curtain on Arsenal’s infamous £40m+£1 for Luis Suarez
The Gunners heard the Uruguayan had a release clause in his contract in the summer of 2013
Wenger said Arsenal struck an agreement with both Suarez and his agent, who claimed that the former Ajax star had a clause in his contract allow him to leave for any offer higher than £40m.
But writing in his new book Arsene Wenger: My Life in Red and White, as reported in the Mirror, he revealed that the reported clause never existed.
The Frenchman admitted their infamous transfer offer – immediately rebuffed by Anfield officials – was ‘ludicrous’ but explained that it was submitted to see if the claims were really true.
‘In 2014 [the 2013/14 season] we were looking to get Luis Suarez over,’ he wrote.
Wenger concedes the offer was ‘ludicrous’ but that it was the only way to verify the claims
The bid was laughed off by Liverpool, with owner John Henry asking: ‘What are they smoking?’
‘We had an agreement with the player and his agent. But the agent claimed that there was a clause: with an offer above £40million, Liverpool would be obliged to let the player go.
‘But thanks to an indiscretion within Liverpool, I found out that his clause never existed. To check this was true, we offered £40,000,001. This may have seemed ludicrous, I admit.
‘But Liverpool did not want to sell Suarez, they could afford to keep him and there was already an offer from Barca on the horizon.’
The offer left Liverpool baffled and prompted owner John Henry to tweet: ‘What do you think they’re smoking over there at the Emirates?’
The forward ended up staying at Anfield for one more season and scored 30 goals for the Reds
Wenger, who left Arsenal in 2018 and now works as FIFA’s head of global development, went on to sign Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid as Arsenal’s marquee signing, while Suarez spearheaded Liverpool’s title challenge.
He blitzed his way to 31 goals, winning PFA Player of the Year and coming close to winning the Premier League, before finally getting his move to Barcelona for around £64m.
He would go on to play 133 times for Liverpool with 82 goals before becoming Barcelona’s fourth-highest scorer in their history. This summer he moved to LaLiga rivals Atletico Madrid.
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